So let’s talk cookbooks for a moment – cookbooks addiction actually. I think I’d like to start a cookbook support group for those of us who constantly accumulate them, without any regard to where to store them, fiscal responsibility, or how they may impact our relationship. Case in point: AJ and I used to have a deal, where every book I bought, meant I had to get rid of a book. We have THAT tiny an apartment. Of course, this deal went out the window when I started blogging (hey these cookbooks are research) and that meant I needed to find new, creative ways to store them as our bookshelves are maxed out. Currently that means they are stacked neatly underneath my desk, which would be a great solution, if I didn’t mind not being able to scoot my chair underneath my desk (I guess legroom is overrated). That said, just to fuel YOUR cookbook addiction (just call me a cookbook enabler) here’s a recap of my favorite ones from the last year – in no particular order. On top of that, I happen to have an extra copy of Cook without a Book – Meatless Meals by Pam Anderson (of Three Many Cooks) and I would love to send it to one of you guys. Read on to find out how you can win it!
Cook without a Book – Meatless Meals by Pam Anderson: As a former editor at Cook’s Illustrated, Pam Anderson has written half a dozen cookbooks, but I’m in love with her new one. A sequel (of sorts) from her previous book How to Cook without a Book this one focuses on vegetarian meals, giving techniques and master recipes for main meals…that are without meat. Once you’ve learned the master recipe, you can create endless varieties of meals, all without a book. I’m quite the omnivore myself, but have a number of vegetarian/vegan friends and enjoy eating meatless now and then just to mix it up. This book is fast becoming my go-to guide for those meals.
Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough: Many people have praised this book, but I have a special place in my heart for it. See Bi-Rite Market is my neighborhood market. I live a block and half away from it, and I shop there nearly every day. I know the workers, I know the owner, and I co-host a quarterly DIY dessert event at 18 Reason, their non-profit community center. In fact, (little secret) AJ and I might be making a cameo appearance in their ice cream cookbook that will becoming out next year. More importantly though, is that this book isn’t just a run-of-the-mill cookbook. It’s a guide on how to go grocery shopping, what to look for in produce and how to properly buy your protein (whether it’s pork, chicken, eggs or tofu). It’s an invaluable guide to anyone that wants to know how to buy the best food from a grocer’s perspective.
The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti and Lisa Weiss. Emily Luchetti is one busy person. Not only is she executive pastry chef at two acclaimed restaurants here in San Francisco (Waterbar and Farallon) but the James Beard Award winning chef recently became the Dean at the French Culinary Institute of New York and California. Suddenly I feel like total slacker. Chef Luchetti has written a number of cookbooks, but this one is fantastic, an approachable beginner’s baking book that is anything but basic. Teaming up with “regular folks” who have been fearful of baking, she works with them in the kitchen to create fearless bakers. Sprinkled through the 175 recipes are the conversation she had while baking with these fearless bakers, and their struggles and questions while they make desserts. Be sure to check Chef Luchetti’s blog as well, where she interviews other pastry chefs and gives an insider’s perspective as a seasoned pastry chef.
Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi. Speaking of Executive Pastry Chefs, Christine Tosi is the brilliantly skewed Pastry Chef at the brilliantly skewed Momofuku Milk Bar where she takes nostalgic childhood treats and elevates and turns them sideways. One complaint about her is desserts are they are really sugary. It’s true, Crack Pie (an oatmeal cookie crust sugar pie), Compost Cookies (cookies made with pretzels, potato chips, mini candy bars and other leftover cupboard treats) and Cereal Milk (exactly what it sounds like) all err on the sweet side. But the innovation in her recipes can’t be overlooked. In fact her Blueberry and Cream Cookie inspired me to make my Strawberries and Cream Chocolate Chip Jumbo Cookie. Just be forewarned that her recipes use a lot of pastry ingredients not found in most people’s cupboard (specifically glucose and milk powder). Don’t be scared though, she just wants people to be able to produce the same product that you can get at Momofuku Milk Bar.
Mission Street Food by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz: Of course, if you want to discuss skewed cookbooks, you must check out Mission Street Food. The first book released by McSweeney’s Insatiables imprint, focusing on food-related books, Anthony Myint & Karen Leibowitz created a book that documents the journey from renting a taco truck to create an upscale food truck (before the food truck trend explosion) that was shut down in less than a month, to opening up their pop-up (before the pop-up craze occurred) with guest chefs and homage dinners to their currently food venture, a brick and mortar restaurant called Commonwealth. Along the way, the book uses hilarious images, a short comic book and, of course, a number of recipes with step-by-step photos to illustrate exactly what you should be doing.
Desserts by Michel Roux: For something a little more straightforward and less novel than the previous two books, Michel Roux’s Desserts is an excellent companion piece to his Pastry book that he put out a few years ago. Geared toward ambitious bakers and pastry chef wannabees, the gorgeous photography and step-by-step instructions will have you making restaurant quality desserts in no time.
Plum Gorgeous by Romney Steele: Of course, if you want gorgeous photography, look no further than Plum Gorgeous, the second book by Romney Steele, owner of Nepenthe in Big Sur. The deceptively petite book of 60 recipes mainly focuses on seasonal fruit dishes with lush photography reminiscent of the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook which is no surprise, as Sara Remington photographed both of them. The recipes in Plum Gorgeous are exactly what you would expect from a book named such, Lavender-brined pork chops with grilled spice plums, raspberry rhubarb rose petal jam, and honey glazed duck breasts with cherry salsa all make me wish summer is here so I can try them out. Thankfully her winter citrus based recipes seem just as inspiring (lemon almond cake anyone?).
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home: Who would have thought that an ice cream shop from Columbus Ohio would have me rethinking ice cream? Seasonal flavors, no egg yolk and locally sourced ingredients are all part of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. But more than that, is the philosophy that each scoop of ice cream is hand crafted, packed and labeled by a person, not a machine. The passion behind Jeni Britton Bauer is evident as you thumb through her book, as it highlights not only her own journey to becoming ice cream queen, but the local farmers that she gets her ingredients from.
Miette by Meg Ray: Charming and cute doesn’t do this little bakeshop here in San Francisco justice and it certainly doesn’t do justice to their cookbook either. From the scalloped edges of the book to the scrumptious photography and adorable recipes, the Miette cookbook has been drooling over their updated classic American treats. I’m not a pink fluffy polka dotted baker (you know what I’m talking about) but this cookbook certainly has me reconsidering becoming one.
They Draw & Cook: No way I could use words like adorable, charming and cute and not include They Draw & Cook, a compilation of illustrated recipes from the website/blog They Draw & Cook. Utterly entertaining to leaf through, this is the sort of book that would make the perfect holiday present regardless if the person love food or not.
On a Stick! by Matt Armandariz: I can’t talk about entertaining without bringing up the highly amusing, utterly entertaining Matt Armandariz’ first book On a Stick! Approachable, fun and sassy, much like the author himself, it made me want to run out and get a bunch of skewers, lollipop sticks and candy sticks just to have around the house in case of entertaining emergencies. How can you go wrong with spaghetti on a stick?
Sugarbaby by Gesine Bullock-Prado: There are hundreds (probably thousands actually) books on baking with sugar as an ingredients. But a book about COOKING with sugar (on the stovetop) – not so many. Enter Sugarbaby, a wonderfully designed book (have I mentioned I’m a graphic designer and a sucker for well designed book?) that explores confectionary treats from homemade cotton candy, pudding pops, honey nougat, peanut brittle and more. It’s enough to have you fall into a sugar coma just reading it.
Serious Eats – A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are by Ed Levine and the editors of Serious Eats: Both a travel guide and a recipe cookbook, this book functions as a fun printed version of the wonderful Serious Eats website. With guides on the best bun for you hamburger, recipes for fried chicken (both Southern style AND Korean style) and the Serious Eats style list of must eat places (25 BBQ joints, 15 fried bites, a dozen sweet bites) this book had my stomach growling and craving food of all sorts – which is always a good sign when I’m looking at cookbooks.
Of course, I didn’t have a chance to get EVERY cookbook that was released this year. Here’s the list of ones that hope somehow find their way under my Christmas tree.
Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson. Why don’t I own this book? Pretty much ever other food blogger out there has it. Dang it.
Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin. Yeah. See my note above. I’m behind the curve. Also, totally not a cookbook, but whatever.
Ruhlman’s Twenty by Michael Ruhlman. I’ve heard brilliant things about this book. You really can’t go wrong with Michael Ruhlman.
Basic to brilliant, Y’all by Virginia Willis. I’m vaguely obsessed with Southern food and the idea of a classic French southern inspired food sounds perfect!
Eleven Madison Park – the Cookbook by Daniel Humm and William Guidara. Supposedly gorgeous. I’d probably place it on my bookshelf next to my French Laundry cookbook and my NOMA cookbook. Oh wait, I don’t own the NOMA cookbook. Dang. Someone buy me that one too.
Hunt, Gather, Cook by Hank Shaw. Hank once offered to bring my hunting. Now he’s a famous cookbook author. I should have taken him up on that offer.
Heston Blumethal at Home by Heston Blumenthal. The man behind the Fat Duck writes an approachable cookbook for real people? Sign me up please.
The Family Meal- Home Cooking with Ferran Adria by Ferran Adria. Yeah. See the note above.
Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. I guess if you look at this book as being able to function like a side table AND a cookbook/textbook, it’s worth the money, but sadly I need to pay the rent instead of buying it. However if anyone would like to buy it for me, I’d be ever so grateful.
Special thanks goes the publishers that sent me review copies of a few of these books. That said all opinions are my own.
Oh yes, and you probably wanna know how to win a copy of Cook without a Book – Meatless Meals by Pam Anderson. To enter, all you need to do is leave me comment below with a legitimate email address (I gotta be able to get in touch with you if you win!) and tell me what your favorite cookbook is that you bought this year. If you haven’t bought a cookbook this year, just tell me what your favorite cookbook. Come on people. Let’s all form this cookbook addiction support group! Goodness knows I need it.
As an added bonus, you can also tweet about this contest and get another entry. Just tweet “Win @PamAnderson3MC new cookbook! Visit @eatthelove’s post for details & to read his list of 2011 fave cookbooks. http://bit.ly/WinCkBk” and then come back here and leave another comment telling me you tweeted it. If you don’t let me know you tweeted it, I won’t know, so be sure to come back here and leave a comment.
The fine print – PLEASE READ.
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
- VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
- You must be over the age of 18.
- This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
- The contest starts as of today, and will run until Monday, December 19th, 9am PST.
- The retail value of this cookbook is $32.50.
- The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
- The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
- If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award the chocolate to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type your correct email address if you want the cookbook and respond within a week to me when I contact you or I’ll give the cookbook to someone else.
- The cookbook will come directly from me, so if you don’t receive it, let me know. I’ll email you and let you know when I’ve mailed it. Because of the crazy holiday mail, it might take awhile to get to you, but if you don’t get it within a week, email me back and we’ll work it out.
Good luck guys!
This giveaway is now over. Congrats to Maggie over at A Bitchin’ Kitchen! Enjoy the book!
I live Plate to Pixel. It made me think about different ways to take my pictures!
The Suzzzz says
We’ve been on a spending freeze/cash diet this year, trying to pay my husband’s school debts off. That means neither of us can spend more than $10 without consulting the other, if it doesn’t fall in the “need” category it doesn’t get purchased. We were at our local used book store one night browing their $1 rental movies and I spotted Ad Hoc At Home buried under a stack of books on a nearby table. I’d always wanted it so I pulled it out. $4! there was a lovely inscription to the original owner about love and food and family…but then someone had blacked out the eyes of people in the photos and wrote things like Mr. McSnooty Pants Cooks Fancy Schmanzy Food in the margins. I dont’ care, I love it. Best deal of the year for me. That is the one and only book I’ve purchased this year.
Ok, first off, that’s is all kinds of awesome that there are things written in the margin like “Mr McSnooty Pants Cooks Fancy Schmancy Food” in the margins of Ad Hoc at Home. I love it. Something tells me that Thomas Keller would actually find it pretty amusing too.
Secondly $4 is a BARGAIN for that book! And nearly every recipe in there is actually doable (unlike the French Laundry cook book which actually IS fancy schmancy food). What an awesome find!
My two favorites this year are Tartine Bread and Super Natural Every Day.
Redd H from Salted Spoon says
My favorite cookbook this year was not one that came out this year, but one that I discovered. It was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. I love her recipes and I’ve made most of the ones in the one in that book!
I’m on a spending freeze too so I haven’t been able to pick up nearly as many as I wanted to this year.
I love Molly’s book but I’ll totally admit that I have yet to make anything out of it. I should go back and revisit it again.
Deanna B says
I am loving the Tartine cookbook. I am lusting over the Bouchon cookbook. There have been so many I have wanted to buy this year but I have been resisting.
K Kruze says
My favorite cookbook that I’ve purchased this year is A Spoonful of Ginger! Amazing, simple recipes that incorporate Chinese medicine into the dishes. So much flavor and fun to make.
Love your blog and cannot wait to make the Apple Brown Butter cookies!
My favorite cookbook of this year is definitely Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream at Home. I’ve made ice cream a dozen times, but never like this. And the results were AH-MAZING!
I retweeted you!
my fave cookbook is still Julia Child’s French cooking…!!!! 😀
I like that you have some different ones on your list than a lot of other folks do on their lists. There’s some new ones for me to check out!
Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It says
My favorite cookbook this year was Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’. A close second would be Melissa Clark’s ‘Cook This Now’. My want list is about a mile long at this point!
Amber K says
My favorite cookbook that came out this year is the SparkPeople cookbook. Great recipes and cooking techniques. (Just ignore the fact that I’m biased because my success story is in it!) 😉
I don’t use cookbooks!! so i don’t have a favorite one.. umm but i do remember using the betty crocker one a lot as a kid. my mother had a bunch of them, well not compared to you i guess. personally, i get all my recipes from online. i would give the cookbook, if i win, to my sister, because she is a vegetarian who doesn’t particuarly like veggies and for the past years has been getting by on gross processed food. now that she has a baby, she needs to learn to cook real meals.
just tweeted your thingie.
Lisa Waszkiewicz says
I actually haven’t bought a cookbook this year 🙂 My daughter and I have been working through the New Junior Cookbook by Betty Crocker which was given to me new in 1979.
emily | nomnivorous says
Cookiepedia is a cute, fun cookbook full of great cookie recipes. It’s one of my favorites of the year [although this post just reminded me how many cookbooks I do not have. That I want.]
Heather in SF says
My favorite cookbook this year is a tie between The Good Fish by Becky Selengut and Ferran Adria’s Family cookbook. They’re both on my coffee table and aren’t going anywhere very soon, except to the kitchen. Fun to read your reviews, now I’ve added even more cookbooks to my wish list. Ao much for *my* cookbook diet!
Aww. I love Becky! I forgot about her cookbook The Good Fish. Thanks for the reminder Heather.
My favorite cookbook purchased this year is Tartine. The Banana Cream Pie with Carmel and Chocolate is divine.
Nelly Rodriguez says
I agree..Milk Bar and Sugarbaby….I am in love. Also…John Besh’s My Family Table. AMAZING.
Nelly Rodriguez says
I tweeted…and you definitely need to get the EMP book. It’s ridiculous. Yeah, that’s how awesome it is, it’s ridiculous 😛
I picked up “James Beard on Pasta” @ a used book store – love it. It’s like having the little ghosty chef guy from “Ratatouille” hovering over your shoulder, teaching and encouraging you as you go.
Baking From Above!
Leslie M says
The only cookbook I have bought this year, and therefore my favorite, is Super Natural Every Day. I would love to have another one – cookbook, that is.
It’s not new, but I LOVE the Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I had so much fun (and frustration) making the sourdough starter… and it was SUPER rewarding. I love it when you start with nothing and make something delicious.
Hey Irvin, thanks for the shout-out! And the offer still stands. You know where to find me if you want to go chase ducks…
One of these days I will take you up on that Hank! I just need to carve out some time in my schedule…
Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen says
My favorite cookbook that I bought this year is actually another one of Pam Anderson’s books – Perfect Recipes for Having People Over! Thanks for the chance to win!
David Crowley says
Impressive roundup! I just posted a more modest list of my favorite cookbooks…topped by Stir by Barbara Lynch. Great gift I got last Christmas.
Heather T. says
My favorite purchase this spring was “Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients”. It was perfect timing for the local produce hitting the farmer’s markets. That and every recipe I’ve made from it has been fabulous!
Heather T. says
I just tweeted. Check it at beedlebardle. PS. The apple brown butter cookies were fantastic. I think I’m adding them to my holiday cookie swap list. Thanks for the inspiration.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction has been absolutely invaluable for me this year. She is famous for her vegan cookbooks and PPK but this was her very conscious attempt at trying to simplify both in prep, ingredients, and calories, and I have to say the results are stunning. She combines the simplest ingredients in the best ways. Her garlicky mushrooms & kale I make all the time. Her mashed sweet potatoes that use just one or two baked apples to provide the extra needed sweetness instead of sugar? Perfection. She’s helped me so much in cooking healthy simple food all the time without putting a ton of energy into it. I feel like everyone should know about this book.
I love PPK, but I didn’t know about Appetite for Reduction. I’m totally going to check it out. Thanks!
I haven’t bought a cookbook this year, but I did receive a cookbook written by Rick Bayless and his daughter. It’s quite funny with great recipes.
Tweeted the giveaway as well (@squirrelbread).
I did buy the Betty Crocker “Cookie Book” for a friend this year. She loved it for its cute vintage style-it’s a reprint of the original, same photos and everything. My favorite cookbook is the Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown- I think you would enjoy it for some very easy bread recipes.
My favorite for now is Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts. Only because I have some sort of addiction these days to making things into mini pie form to serve 2 and things like cake are way too hard to split.
Dang it! I knew I missed one. I loved the new Martha Stewart Pie and Tart one as well. See, it’s even sitting under my desk! Gah. Oh well. Maybe I’ll sneak it in next year… heh.
Ashley M. says
The Family Meal by Ferran Adria!
Kristen D says
[email protected] ! My Favorite Cookbook Purchase of the Year = Peas and Thank you by Mamma Peas!
Every year, the new books. The award winners. This year, spending has been suspended, but cooking has not. Paying attention to my shelves of cookery bookers, one is my all time fave, even though there’s a boo-boo in a sidebar. Once Upon a Tart (Frank Mentesana & Jerome Audureau) – oh man, does it rock. Soups, Tarts, Cookies, Sandwiches, Condiments, Scones, Quick Breads, and Salads, all a little bit quirky and wonderful. All perfect. Delicious. Well thought through. Beautiful food. The book is perfect in design too. Heavy paper. An interesting shape. A binding that allows the book to rest wide open (and after years of use, the pages are still secure, the folios still in place). The boo-boo? “Tuck a handful of fresh rosemary leaves (or tarragon or thyme) under the skin at the neck end (the larger, open end) of the chicken…” No. Wrong. The neck end is the little end, the end where the little head grows. The large open end, is the vent end. There’s even a tail there. You try cleaning a chicken from the neck end. Good luck. Obvious to me, I raise chickens. City boys. It’s okay. I love them anyway. If I were stranded on a desert island, the only cookbook I would need or want around is Once Upon a Tart.
Sounds like a wonderful cookbook, even with the boo-boo! I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I dare to venture into a bookstore.
Man. You’ve given me a bunch of new cookbooks to obsess over until I buy them. And I had just sworn off buying books ever again.
I met Dabney Gough just last weekend. And I’m already nostalgic for bi-rite after visiting it just that once with you guys.
Anyway, I don’t know if it counts as a cookbook, but I’m pretty obsessed with the first 2 issues of lucky peach. And I really want that milk cookbook.
Ha! I love that you met Dabney. She’s super nice. I forgot she moved to Hawaii.
The Bi-Rite cookbook is fantastic. And I need to go and pick up the second issue of Lucky Peach. I was a little less than thrilled with the first issue, but I think I need to give it another chance.
Heather McDermott says
My two favorites this year have been Super Natural Everyday and Tartine!
I bought Modernist Cuisine this year (*squee!!!*) although I haven’t had time to read it quite yet. I really, really loved Becky Selengut’s Good Fish, and I’m seriously excited about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams! If only it weren’t so cold right now… ^_^
I just recently received the cookbook “Plenty” and I am enjoying reading all the really interesting recipes and drooling over the amazing photos!! Yum, yum! Can’t wait to try it out!
My go to favorite cookbooks are Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the Far East Vegetarian Cooking.
Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen says
My favorite this year was Dorie Greenspan’s Baking. I’m dying to get every one on this list that I don’t already own though! I am also a sucker (maybe even a snob) for a well designed cookbook!
Chi Chi says
My favorite book was Momofuku. The fried chicken recipe and the pork belly recipe are amazing!
I received Gourmet Today as a gift and have enjoyed making updated, healthier and more contemporary versions of the old classics.
I haven’t gotten any new cookbooks this year surprisingly(though my wish list grows daily), the last book I did get though was Bon Appetit’s Dessert Book. Since it is kind of the season of desserts I’ve been using it quite frequently. I would love another book though, thanks for the contest!
I love Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbooks series… I stole (er, borrowed enthusiastically?) one from my mother in preparation for making brown sugar-dijon glazed ham for my friends. Cookbooks are magical.
Irina G (Fit Flexitarian) says
I think one of my favorite things about food blogging is how many of us are cookbook addicts. This is a really nicely compiled list, I love it! But you REALLY have to get on getting Plate to Pixel and Supernatural Every Day.
P.S. If you find someone to buy you Modernist Cuisine, would you kindly give them my name just in case they feel like being equally generous? 😉
The saddest truth- I have not bought a single cookbook this year! I did check out How to Cook everything vegetarian by Mark Bittman from our library!
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